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Sister 3 (2017)

Chiara Camoni

iron, glazed clay, candles, fire

MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), Teeside University

© Chiara Camoni Photo: courtesy of the artist and Arcade, London



Craft, Ceramic


Iron, Clay, Fire, Candle wax




180 x 134 x 110 cm


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society through the Jackson Tang Ceramics Award, 2018/19

Ownership history:

Purchased from the Arcade Gallery, London by the Contemporary Art Society through the Jackson Tang Ceramics Award, 4 July 2018; presented to MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, 2018


Through the Jackson Tang Ceramic Award, the Contemporary Art Society has acquired three large-scale pieces from Chiara Camoni’s series Sisters for Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. This is the first acquisition of Camoni’s work by a UK museum.

Camoni’s ceramic practice is intimately embedded in her daily life and has a collaborative aspect that sees friends and relatives invited to assist her in making the work. Through this extended, communal creation of her sculptural work, Camoni traces connections to the prehistory of object making and to artefacts that would have included tools, vessels and talismans.

Sister 1 (2017), Sister 3 (2017), and Sister 4 (2017) are clay forms each supporting several multi-coloured candles. Over time the coloured wax builds up on and around each work as the candles burn down. The works were displayed for a month in January / February 2019. Individuals from local communities were invited to take the role of lighting the candles each day during the exhibition period, activating the work and creating a special, communal moment. The work also acted as a way of marking the New Year and acknowledged ancient and modern traditions and rituals around light in the wintertime. Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art sees itself as a ‘useful’ museum, an institution with a social function that repurposes art as a tool for change. It seeks to play a civic role through a focus on education and community building, and these topics resonate with the diverse users and constituent groups it serves. Their recent focus has been on work motivated by social and political themes and how these connect to craft. Camoni’s charismatic sculptures will join the Gallery’s outstanding collection of major ceramic works by some of the most important practitioners of our era.

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